Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tri-Polish Tuesday - Red on yellow, kill a fellow...

Hey y'all!

Today brings us to the end of my first month of Tri-Polish Tuesdays, and I knew I wanted to try something a little bit wacky for it.  Ever since January's colors were announced, I've had a rhyme from childhood bouncing around in my head and it wasn't going to stop until I put it on my nails, so I present to you my coral snake manicure!

Growing up in Texas with a game warden for a father, I probably got a better dose of snake (and other critter) information than most kids.  I was taught to identify the four most common deadly snakes in Texas: rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins (aka cottonmouths, and one day I'll tell the story about how I once ended up catching one on my fishing line), and coral snakes.  However, there's a harmless snake that also lives in Texas with colors very similar to the coral snake, a variety of king snake known as the milk snake.  To ease confusion, a rhyme is taught to children to help them identify the two.
"Red on yellow, kill a fellow.  Red on black, friend of Jack."
Since both snakes have variegating black, red, and yellow bands, it is easy to remember that a coral snake will have yellow bands on either side of each red one, whereas the non-poisonous king snake varieties will have smaller black bands surrounding the red ones.  

Black-Red-Black-Yellow-Black = king snake, non-poisonous

Yellow-Red-Yellow-Black-Yellow = coral snake, stay clear  

Snake anatomy lesson over, but I felt like I needed to explain what the deuce I was talking about with this silly manicure.  Moving on...

So I actually had to try two different approaches on this manicure.  My original concept had me sponging on the colored bands, but I quickly determined that no matter how careful I was, the colors were going to blend together and I ended up with some ugly poo-brownish blobs which was definitely NOT what I was going for.  Cleanup, try again.  The look you see here was achieved by using two coats of elf Yellow as a base, and then a single coat of LA Colors Wave Length to give a little depth and shine to my yellows.  Then on alternating fingers, I put in stripes of Sinful Colors Sugar Sugar and Maybelline Onyx Black, trying to keep the lines as straight as possible down the length of my nail.  

Then, the fun bit kicked in.  I put on a fairly heavy coat of SV and let it dry for about 5 minutes, so that it was touch dry but still soft underneath.  Then I used a cut out section of bath sponge (the kind made of plastic netting, not actual sponge) and stretched the netting over my fingers one by one, pulling down until it made an impression.  Now, I will say that the technique, while successful, was not perfect.  I found that after a time (ie: the time it took to get my light box set up and camera ready) the impressions started leveling out again, so you can see in these pics where I tried to re-crease in the same folds to a not-quite-perfect end.

I also must have used more pressure on the tips because you can see (in my thumb, specifically) where it actually cut into the lacquer underneath, but I'm not going to complain too much.  

I definitely want to take another stab at this technique, maybe in an aquatic or dragon theme, and see if I can get the impressions to hold (maybe by clamping it in place for a few more minutes while the topcoat sets?). I also think maybe I can rig some sort of stiff holder for the netting so that I can more evenly apply the pressure around the nail.  If you have any ideas for me, I'd love to hear them! 

Next week, TPT returns with a new color palette, so February will be brown, pink, and grey.  I am actually a little scared of trying to blend those colors together, so that should be interesting to say the least.  

In any event, I hope you're all having a fantastic week, and I'll see ya again!


  1. Ooh, what a fascinating idea! I really like what you've done- it's so inventive!

  2. That is SO cool. I love the anatomy lesson. I should be better with remembering those details about snakes, we have a few here in FL I'm sure I should be more careful of. But that is a clever saying!

    I love how you used your childhood memories to inspire this look :)

    1. First rule of thumb with snakes: if you don't know what it is, leave it alone. That said, you do have a king snake AND coral snakes, so I'm glad I could learns ya. :)


I love reading your comments and reply whenever I have time. Thanks for reading and interacting with me!